Ahead of its next general meeting on Sunday and some members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe are reportedly calling for their leadership to be replaced following the emergence of claims that the Massachusetts tribe ‘has no money coming in.’
According to a Tuesday report from a local newspaper, the federally-recognized tribe had hoped to be given permission to construct the First Light Resort and Casino in partnership with Asian casino giant, Genting Malaysia Berhad. But, this scheme was dealt a massive blow in September after the administration of President, Donald Trump, reversed an earlier land-into-trust decision regarding a 321-acre plot of land that was due to host the proposed $1 billion development.
As a consequence, the newspaper reported that Genting Malaysia Berhad soon pulled its considerable financial support to leave the tribe with an outstanding bill of approximately $500 million. To make matters worse, the Tribe purportedly also had only $281,203 in the bank at the end of April after spending some $1 million over the course of the previous four months.
The Taunton Daily Gazette reported that some tribal members have now alleged that the Tribe’s failure to build the First Light Resort and Casino near the small city of Taunton has highlighted the fiscal shortcomings of its leadership. These constituents are purportedly moreover concerned about the whereabouts of over $250 million in allegedly missing funds as well as the wisdom behind its principals spending nearly all the $679,513 the tribe recently received in state and federal grants on salaries and related benefits.
The leadership of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is hoping to be able to resurrect the First Light project via two pieces of proposed federal legislation that recently passed through the United States House of Representatives. However, the intervening weeks have purportedly seen some members of the Massachusetts tribe commence an automated telephone call campaign that urges their fellow constituents to oust Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell along with Treasurer Gordon Harris and Tribal Council Vice-Chair Jessie ‘Little Doe’ Baird.
These ‘robo-calls’ allege that the Tribe ‘has no money coming in’ following the collapse of the plan to build the First Light venue and that tribal members are not being made aware of how or where their money is being spent.
These calls reportedly state…
“We are solely relying on federal grant dollars [and] this means our tribal elders, youth and at-risk members are suffering while [the tribal council] continues to use grant funding for their salaries. Only Chairman Cromwell and Treasurer Gordon Harris have knowledge and access to how our $250 million has been spent.”